I picked the name Br. Michael of the Holy Face and the Sorrowful Mother. In our province we are asked to choose a religious title that speaks to us about our draw to Carmel and how we think that the Lord is leading us.
The title is a tradition going back to our earliest historical roots where Carmelites adopted a title for the sake of equality and anonymity. In an age where one’s nobility and social status could be easily recognized by one’s surname, it was a practice to drop the surname and replace it with the title so that all religious were held in equal standing within the community. The title nowadays represents how we feel specifically called in our vocation and how we believe the Holy Spirit is leading us to Christ.
I chose the Holy Face because the Holy Face represents the face of Christ as He underwent the crucifixion. It stands for the heart of Love that is scorned and tortured by our sins and how Love reveals those pains in its face. It is closely tied with the Sacred Heart and I received much of my inspiration from St. Therese of Lisieux and her understanding of it.
I chose the Sorrowful Mother because of my love for Our Lady and how Our Lady is inseparable from the Passion. She walked alongside her Son in body and in heart, and it is in this passion of sorrow that the love of Our Lady shines all its glory. The Sorrowful Mother also stands for our call in that “The carmelites task is to gaze on the Crucified” (Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity) and it is a deep part of our spirituality to provide love for the Lord to sustain Him in the sorrows He bears from our world today.